Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis

How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

During a crisis like a health scare or natural disaster, it’s often the job of marketers to communicate to patients, staff, vendors, partners, and the community at large. 

 

Like anything, it’s a lot harder to do your job without any sort of plan or guidelines in place, but you aren’t alone. In fact, according to a recent survey from Deloitte, the multinational professional services network, only 49% of board members say their companies have playbooks for likely crisis scenarios. 

 

Read on for some top-level strategic crisis communication tips and actionable tactics to consider when steering your medical practice messaging through a less than ideal situation.

Things to Remember 

A good crisis communication plan cannot be copied and pasted. There are factors specific to your medical practice, and the emergency you’re dealing with that are required to be factored into your plan. That said, your plan should include:

  • Steps to take when the crisis first emerges 
  • How and when to communicate with internal and external audiences 
  • Strategies to prevent the incident or improve response if unavoidable 

So, when it comes to planning for an emergency like a natural disaster or mass shooting (something a lot of us may have more experience in than we would ever want), here’s what to consider doing to create and implement your crisis communication plan. 

Be Honest & Intentional with Your Communication 

If there was ever a time to remove all the fluff from your marketing communication, it’s now. Be honest and get to the point – fast. Whether it’s with employees or patients, define your message, update it as needed, but do not lie about what’s going on. 

 

According to CEO Magazine, honesty is considered to be the single most important leadership value, and if you aren’t truthful in your communications here, it will come back to haunt you. 

 

How can you be intentional about what you want to say and how you want to say it? Practice. 

 

Create a list of possible scenarios and write out how you would respond to each of them. What are the messages you would use? How would you communicate your key points to stakeholders? Media? Staff? Patients? You’ll need an answer for each. 

 

It may also be helpful to involve other key leadership here as you draft these scenarios, and you may even want to incorporate protocols or drills into your workflow throughout the year. 

Define Roles and Expectations

Once you have some of your key messages outlined, it’s time to create an organizational chart. In other words, determine what and who is expected to step up when a crisis does hit. And, when that person isn’t available, who is next in line?  

 

First, establish a point of contact for your crisis management team (CMT) and use whatever internal communication methods you have to get the message out to your staff that John Smith is the point of contact, and these are the talking points if asked. 

 

WorldAware.com says a CMT lead is responsible for developing, implementing, administering, evaluating, and maintaining the entire program.

 

Reach your team by email, a bulletin board in a break room, intranet, word of mouth, memos, smoke signals – whatever you can do internally to let people in your organization know what they should be saying and what they should expect in terms of their jobs and disruptions to their day-to-day lives.

 

You may also want your CMT to be in charge of the external communication as well because depending on what sort of disaster or crisis you’re dealing with, there are potential media, vendors, partners, and patients are all going to be affected.

 

If you’re a larger practice, you may want to consider putting together a full committee or emergency response team instead of just one lead or a few top managers. In this scenario, each of the large departments at your practice has a representative so they can communicate to their teams and so forth.

 

Then, depending on the level of the emergency you’re dealing with, you can activate the team and do a weekly, daily or hourly meeting depending on severity, even if it’s just 5-minutes on the phone to ensure everyone is on the same page.  

 

Who should be part of the team? Consider involving a few select physician partners, branch location managers, administrators, and managers and, if you’re not the marketing person, make sure someone from the marketing team is involved because they may be the ones communicating the information to patients, partners, and media. 

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Online Complaints? Blame Customer Service, Not Doctors’ Care 

Online Complaints? Blame Customer Service, Not Doctors’ Care  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A nationwide study has uncovered what drives patients to write glowing, or scathing, reviews on the Internet. For a study of online doctor reviews coast to coast, Vanguard Communications developed special software to analyze Google+ reviews of doctors, group medical practices, clinics and hospitals.

 

The software analyzed 34,748 patients’ reviews of their physicians throughout the United States and determined that customer service is the leading distinction between highly rated and poorly rated doctors.

 

After compiling data containing the words patients used in describing their experiences with medical practices, the software determined the most common phrases associated with each review star level. An analysis of these most common phrases revealed that an incredible 96 percent of patient complaints are customer-service related, while a mere 4 percent complain about quality of care or misdiagnosis.

Summary of findings

  • 96 percent of patient complaints are customer service related
  • 4 percent are healthcare related

Of the customer service complaints:

  • 53 percent of complaints are related to communication
  • 35 percent of complaints are related to long wait times/waiting rooms
  • 12 percent of complaints are related to practice staff
  • 2 percent of complaints are related to billing

Of the compliments:

  • 40 percent of five-star compliments are related to bedside manner
  • 28 percent of five-star compliments are related to practice staff
  • 24 percent of five-star compliments are related to communication

The reviewers:

  • 61 percent gave five stars, producing 69 percent of content
  • 5 percent gave four stars, producing 5 percent of content
  • 3 percent gave three stars, producing 4 percent of content
  • 9 percent gave two stars, producing 11 percent of content
  • 23 percent gave one star, producing 12 percent of content

Of the common negative review phrasings:

  • Poor communication is the most offensive practice for a medical office. Fifty-three percent cite communications frustrations, such as “to get an appointment … ” and “I was told that … ”
  • Long wait times can obliterate a practice’s reputation. Thirty-five percent complain about wait times and waiting rooms, such as “in the waiting room for” and “an hour and a half”
  • Churlish staff can also drag down reviews. Twelve percent relate to practice staff, such as “the doctors are great but … ” and “the rest of the staff … ”
  • Only two percent are billing related, the most common being “I had to pay … ”

Regarding the complete list of review phrasings:

  • The great majority of reviews are positive. Sixty-one percent reviewers gave five stars, 5 percent gave four stars, 3 percent gave three stars, 9 percent gave two stars, and 23 percent gave one star.
  • Happy patients are the most verbose. Sixty-nine percent of content was written by five star reviewers, 12 percent by four star reviewers, 4 percent by three star reviewers, 11 percent by two star reviewers and 12 percent by one star reviewers.

Of the common positive review phrasings:

  • Patients are impressed with outstanding bedside manner. Forty percent of five star reviewers gush on their doctor with phrases such as “took the time to … ” and “answered all my questions”
  • Patients love staff who love patients. Twenty-eight percent of five star reviewers compliment the staff with phases such as “the staff is friendly and…” and “went out of their way to … ”
  • The happiest patients keep good communication at the top of their list. Twenty-four percent use phrasings such as “made me feel very comfortable” and “and made me feel … ”

Actions doctors can take

While some patients may incorrectly blame doctors for a misdiagnosis, this appears to a very small minority. The large majority of patients are eager to compliment their doctors. Complaints could largely be eliminated by medical practices if they implemented the following measures.

  • Better communication: Practices must keep their patients informed. Patients can tolerate surprising medical results, but they do not tolerate surprises elsewhere (long wait times, difficulty booking appointments, difficulty obtaining test results). Keep your patients informed! If wait times are going to be above 15 minutes, let the patient know. Doctors should ask the patient if all questions have been answered or if there is anything more they can do for them. Staff should do the same.
  • Better organization: Find the most organized individual you can and hire them. You need to have someone on your team who can ensure things are kept in order so that when patients ask questions, you can spend your time answering them rather than hunting for the answer. While long wait times may be unavoidable at times, better communication and organization can minimize this complaint. Automatic appointment reminders and online scheduling may help reduce large variations in daily patient load.
  • Better disposition: Cheerful and empathetic staff can help ensure patients feel as comfortable as possible. While a great team can’t solve all problems, it can help a good practice become great.

Study methodology

The software utilized the Google Places API to obtain listings that were categorized as a “Doctor” business type. Upon cataloging these listings, the software again utilized the Google Place API to obtain all available reviews associated with the respective listings.

At the time of execution, the software obtained a catalog of 34,748 reviews. A frequency analysis was then computed for the body of review text associated with each star rating (one through five) to determine the most common four- and five-word phrasings.

Analysts used these most frequent phrasings to assess patient review patterns. For the purposes of the analysis, each frequent phrasing was assigned one of four primary patterns:

  1. Customer service – reviewers’ phrasing references customer service (ex: “made me feel very comfortable”)
  2. Quality of care – reviewers’ phrasing references healthcare (ex: “to the emergency room”)
  3. Context – phrasing establishes reviewers’ credibility or other context (ex: “I’ve been going here for”)
  4. Advice – reviewers’ phrasing is advisory (ex: “I would highly recommend this”)

Context and advice phrasings were not considered in the analysis. Each phrasing determined to be customer service related was further analyzed to determine more specific patterns such as wait times, bedside manner, staffing, communications and billing.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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